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How do you stop a stressful job from taking over your mind outside of working hours?

19 Answers
Last Updated: 01/24/2021 at 5:45pm
1 Tip to Feel Better
United States
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Elena Morales, LMHC

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I believe silence creates a cycle. With empathic and collaborative therapy, we break the cycle. I help clients feel validated and supported passed anger, shame, and anxiety.

Top Rated Answers
- Expert in Work Stress
January 3rd, 2015 5:22pm
I have struggled with this a lot, actually. It's very difficult if your job is so stressful while you're in the environment, sometimes it transfers to your home environment, with people calling or texting you, or just the events of the day resonating. I think the fact that we DON'T want to deal with it, makes it more stressful. Here's what I've started doing, and it takes a lot of practice too. 1. I take a little bit of time to reflect on what happened throughout the work day. A set amount of time to identify the peaks and pitfalls of the day. 2. I give thanks for the day's high points, out loud or silently in my mind, or I will even write them down. 3. Once I get home, or get to school, I take a little bit of time before starting my next task, to do something calming or something that makes me feel good. If I'm at home, I'll take an hour or so. If I'm at school, of course it will be a little less time because I have to go to class. 4. Sometimes I'll even say to myself when I get to the door, that the problems of the day can't follow me inside. It sounds silly, but sometimes that's what it takes in order to train your mind. 5. If it's not a busy school night, I'll take a few deep breaths, calm myself, and go to the gym and work out as hard as I possibly can, maybe push my limits a bit. This really helps me get my frustrations out. During the day, I'll think about what I get to do once I leave, and make it something to look forward to, even if it's continuing my netflix marathon. I still have my days when it's crazy hard to let go of my work stress, but in my case, I have had worse jobs. So when all else fails, I'll say to myself that at least I'm not in the place I was in before.
December 9th, 2014 10:32pm
i have lived such a situation in three different companies. The best way I found for taking work off my mind was sport. Everyday i use the lunch break to do some sport (running, bycicle, tennis...) If i have no time in lunch break, i do sport just after work. And then, once at home, when everybody is sleeping, i do some stretching with nice classic music, combined with some meditation exercises. This makes me have a good sleep
December 10th, 2014 1:21am
If you're working long hours and really stressed out about it, consider talking to your boss about taking some time off. A mental break is necessary now and again from work. Also, make sure you are exercising and taking care of things in your personal life so you aren't thinking about work all the time!
December 11th, 2014 8:14pm
Find healthy ways to take your mind off of work when you aren't at work. Talk to people about it because you never know, someone will understand how you are feeling and may be able to help you. Just getting it off your chest will probably help you feel a lot better.
December 14th, 2014 11:18am
The most important thing is to find time for yourself. Surround yourself with activities that make you happy and that can keep your mind off all the work that is waiting for you.
January 7th, 2015 2:50pm
Always remember that when at work, you are not allowed to deal with personal calls, because it is not related. Same applies when you are at home, work is for your shift, not afterwards. Find something that you enjoy doing, or that you find relaxing and make sure that you do it whenever you are not working. I sometimes use the time travelling to work as my time to get myself prepared for the day, get myself in the mindset. At the end of a shift, I take the time on the way home to forget what has happened that day and focus on my home life, because there is nothing I can do anyway until the next morning. If it is stressful, try to organise rather than overload. So for example, assess what you have to do, and assess the time it will take to do each task, don't try to get it all done, because it may be too much, so set piles of tasks that you will do each day to ensure that the targets are met but you aren't overloaded.
November 2nd, 2015 11:04pm
Try writing things down to help you put things out of your thoughts and in a piece of paper. This is a temporary break and you will feel relieved as you have written it down.
December 29th, 2014 1:53am
Keep strict boundaries as much as possible. Try not to work at home, and if you do, only work for designated times and in an area of your home that you don't typically relax in. Before bed each night, dedicate the last 30 minutes of your day doing something relaxing that is only for you and only your time, like reading for fun, meditating, taking a warm bath, whatever you like as long as it's not a chore or work or school-related. Do it EVERY night, regardless of how much there is to do. as a wise boss once told me, "don't worry, there will always be more work for you tomorrow, so why rush it?"
September 21st, 2015 11:56pm
Leave anything work related at work! If you don't get paid to work 24/7 don't do it. Always try to plan for something to look forward to!
January 24th, 2021 5:45pm
From personal experience, getting your mind off the stress of work can be challenging even outside working hours. But it gets easier once you set your mind into trying to leave all queries and work stress at work once you get out of your workplace and vice versa, leave your personal problems once you leave home for work so you can maintain a good balance and performance and take each thing at once. Hobbies after work my do the trick: Biking, hiking in nature, exercising, music, meditation, cooking your favorite meal or simply talking to a good friend, all are good ways to refresh the mind into thinking more widely than the problem itself. When you focus only on the problem, you can't always see the solution but some distraction sometimes helps in refreshing the mind to think outside the box and eventually see new options and get the energy again to start a new day! Hope that was helpful.
December 10th, 2014 4:37am
Practice self-care always. This means finding something you enjoy doing, and doing it regularly! It can be ANYTHING, and this will vary depending on the individual. Some ideas include going for a walk, grabbing a coffee with a friend, playing video games, watching Youtube videos, working out, having a bubble bath.
December 16th, 2014 5:05pm
Chatting to 7cupsoftea, or finding a similar outlet for your mind to unwind once you leave the office. Other ideas include exercise, visiting a quite place to relax, completing an instagram photo challenge.
April 23rd, 2015 8:10pm
I personally work out or take a yoga class to release some of the stress whether it be from work or any other place. However, you can do something outside of work that makes you happy or takes away the stress. You can even take a vacation which is really relaxing. lol
April 30th, 2015 8:08pm
I usually tried to identified what makes it stressful. what the factors that made me feel that way. then I work on what I can change and how to change it and I evaluate if the outcome is what I expect. :)
May 9th, 2015 4:56pm
It's important you manage your time well. A schedule of your own free time can make things a lot better if you try to stick with it. Do relaxing things,but mix them everyday.
November 2nd, 2015 5:02am
I take very deep breaths in and out and just relax for a while maybe even have a nice bubble bath with my fav coffee
April 5th, 2016 1:06pm
Find a hobbie for example football, and have fun and enjoy it this will help realise stress also :-)
January 28th, 2020 2:26am
Get more good distractions. Start a project or a hobby, which is not related to your job at all. Separate your work circle from your social circle. I hate to say this. Make friends outside of your workplace. When you are not at work, you don't need to think about work at work. With that being said, workaholic is a golden rule of a balanced life. You get something from your work, the paid, the experience, etc. But you can't let your work fill your head 24/7. You are more than your work. Off your shift, go and enjoy your life.
November 24th, 2020 9:19pm
Don't let work stress steal your happiness. Stop, stop, stop !!! Redirect your thoughts to what truly matters in life and deal with work problems at work :) Make sure you don't answer work emails at home and take some time for your self-care at home. Remember, you can't help others if you can't help your self first. We tend to think that we are alone and that we need to do everything at once. Aske for help from people you trust and people you know that would be able to help.